Indigenous culture and education: Mexican adolescents' perception and interest on communal forestry management

Isabel Ruiz-Mallén

Research output: Chapter in BookChapterResearchpeer-review


© 2010 by Nova Science Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Indigenous communities in Mexico have large access to local forests of rich diversity. Since the 1980s, several Mexican communities with strong social organization and awareness on conservation issues have started sustainable forestry enterprises. Previous research on forest management has documented and examined Mexican community forestry enterprises, but little research has explored the interest of adolescents in those experiences. Understanding their perceptions and attitudes towards community forestry could help in designing policies oriented to ensure the sustainable management of forest. In this chapter, perception and interest on local forestry of 85 preparatory school students in a Mexican indigenous community with high level of involvement in forestry, Ixtlan de Juarez in Oaxaca, are examined. I test the association between students' positive attitudes towards being involved in the community forestry enterprise and 1) students' family involved in communal forestry management and 2) their participation in an extracurricular environmental education program focused on forestry management. Overall adolescents have a positive perception of the Ixtlan forestry enterprise, although only 16% of them are really interested in working in it in the future. Any significant association neither between adolescents' family involvement in communal forestry management and interest in local forestry nor between their participation in the environmental education program and interest in local forestry is found. Findings suggest that forestry activities of students' parents and the extracurricular environmental education program are not enough to encourage adolescents to participate in local forestry issues. Further research is necessary to understand why adolescents are not motivated in participating in local forest conservation practices.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Environmental Research. Volume 4
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


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